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Max Verstappen

Verstappen highlights the key factors that helped him to victory

Max Verstappen has pointed to some key moments during the Miami Grand Prix as he got the better of Charles Leclerc for the race win.

Verstappen Leclerc angry boos
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Max Verstappen says his rapid start and Red Bull's subsequent opening stint on the Medium tyre were decisive as he beat Charles Leclerc to victory in Miami.

Verstappen lost out to both Ferraris in qualifying, having made a mistake on his final Q3 run after a heavily-disrupted first day of practice.

But the Dutchman swiftly bounced back in the race, as he charged past Carlos Sainz off the line and passed Leclerc for the lead a few laps later, as Red Bull showed superior pace to Ferrari on the Medium rubber.

Despite a Safety Car in the closing stages, Verstappen was able to resist Leclerc's improved pace on the Hard compound to hold on for the win – his second in a row.

The triumph means Verstappen has won every race he has finished this season, with Leclerc's championship lead cut down to 19 points.

Where Verstappen and Red Bull made the difference

Speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com, after the race, Verstappen ran through the day's "very crucial" moments from his perspective.

"It's a very good comeback," Verstappen declared.

"I think I didn't even do a [practice] start, so I didn't know what to expect in the actual start, but we had a good launch.

"I saw the opportunity to go around the outside [of Sainz], so I tried and luckily it worked, and then I just tried to see the pace of Charles in front of me.

"I think Charles started to struggle a bit more with the front tyres, and it seemed like our car was very good on the Medium compound.

"Once I got ahead, I think that basically made my race, because I opened up the gap, and [when] we [pitted] and put the Hard tyre on, we were actually very closely matched in pace.

"That was very crucial, of course, to get that gap."

Verstappen relieved to survive late Safety Car scare

Verstappen went on to discuss his reaction to the late-race Safety Car, brought out when Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly collided.

"I was not very happy with that, but [it was] fully understandable with what happened," Verstappen added.

"You cannot be too disappointed about it, because also in the past it has benefitted me in some other races.

"I knew it was gonna be a tough one to the end, because it was quite physical out there, so I knew the next 10 laps would have to be flat out – on a track like this it is not easy."

Verstappen came under pressure from Leclerc at the restart and explained that he initially struggled with tyre temperatures.

"I was sliding around a bit too much for my liking, but then once the tyres came back up to temperature, I think I had a little bit more pace, and I pulled him out of the DRS, which was very crucial," he said.

"He was trying everything to try and have a go, and it was not easy to stay ahead, because it's easy to make a mistake around here in certain places."

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F1 2022 Miami Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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